Last year Tabby and I made our first joint snake kill. Last Friday, we were faced with that nasty job. Again.
Friday afternoon, I heard tremendous squawking from outside, where My Precious and her 11 adopted chicks were. The boys and I rushed out. I saw My Precious flapping her wings and squawking and then when she saw me she quickly turned and herded the chicks to another area. I didn't see anything wrong and thought maybe a chick had strayed too far and she was calling it back. So we turned to go back inside.
That's when I saw it.
In a corner by the door we had come out of, a huge rat snake (also known as black snake) was all curled around a fuzzy yellow chick. The chick was limp, obviously dead. Oooooooohhhhh noooooo! I rushed the boys back inside and hollered for Tabby. I ordered Hunter to take Solomon inside and play with him. Tabby and I pulled on our high rubber boots and prepared to kill. She kept an eye on that horrid snake as I ran for our tools of death.
Then I was back. I slammed my hoe down onto the snake and pressed hard so he couldn't wiggle away. (Snakes have amazingly hard bodies I was reminded.) Tabby took the big shovel and started slamming it down on the snake's neck. Over and over. In spite of having a rather scrawny looking neck, it was hard to chop it off. At one point she yelled "Why is Dad never around when this stuff happens?" as she chopped ferociously. Finally she got most of the snake's head severed, and the thing just kept opening and closing it's mouth, flashing it's fangs at us. Blood was all over the stone area under the snake as it lay dead.
Suddenly a thought popped in my head. "Should I take a picture for my blog?" I asked Tabby. "Gross NO!" she responded, thoroughly disgusted, giving me a look like I had gone insane. I shrugged. That is a problem bloggers face. We want to take pictures of everything that has blog potential!
Tabby gentley freed the cute little yellow chick, that had slipped into chick heaven. She took it to bury it.
I scooped up the snake on my shovel and carried it into the woods to toss. The snake's eye with that weird slit shaped pupil stared at me as I walked. For a moment I had a flash that was almost - sort of - pity. What must it be liked to be the most universally hated animal in the world? Snakes certainly lead a lonely existence. "Oh well!" I thought as I flung the snake's mangled body as far as I could.
Wanna hear another icky story? This one involves mice. Yes - mice and snakes. Farm living at it's best! ;)
But first I need to insert a cute picture just for a break. Here is Tabby and Sherlotta. That puppy is getting big!
The other night, Frank told me that while he was sitting at our desk, a mouse ran across his foot. Yes - a MOUSE! He said he debated about whether or not to tell me. Then he said that earlier in the week, he had turned on the bathroom light one night and a mouse ran across the floor. ICK! That was bold.
I have all our mouse traps set in the attic, so he stopped the next day at the store and bought some more. (I frequently find dead mice in the attic traps. I keep a pair of rubber gloves up there because I feel "safer" wearing them to empty mouse traps and reset them. For some reason, whenever I shake a dead mouse off the trap into the waiting bag, I picture the mouse suddenly coming to life and hurling itself towards me screaming with it's sharp teeth flashing. Yes I've always had an over-active imagination.)
So Friday night, traps were set in several strategic places downstairs. Yesterday morning, there was a fat (dead) brown mouse in the trap in the bathroom. Frank kindly emptied the trap. (There were 2 more in the attic that I found later that morning.) I was pleased and thought that was probably that for the downstairs mice. But I was wrong.
Tension breaker - Lilly's lily garden is growing fast! Ahhhh ... how peaceful ...
Back to our mouse story. Today I needed a small tablecloth for a little Easter display Hunter and I wanted to do. I opened the drawer in my Hoosier cabinet and sighed as I saw a stash of black sunflower seeds. These are the seeds we use in the bird feeders around our house. Mice love them and like to stash them in things. I figured they were from the dead mouse. I pulled out the top tablecloths then cried "Oh no!" Two of the vintage tablecloths I had were very very badly chewed up! I pulled them up and then yelled "OH NO!" much louder. I dropped the tablecloths back down.
Here is what I saw (yes I did take a picture this time!):
Five baby mice. (One had slid out of the picture.) Making little squeaks. Everyone came in and stared at them. Honestly - they were pretty cute. But NOT inside my house please!
Frank took them outside ... insert slasher sound like from the "Psycho" movie here ... but no he did not use a knife ... I did not ask and he did not tell.
Made me think of the snake we killed. Snakes are supposed to eat mice. Obviously Mr. Rat Snake had not done his job properly or we would not have had so many mice inside the house! Ha! Death to them all ...
OK. Enough snakes and mice or I might dream about them tonight. (Which I did the other night!)
I will leave you with a cute picture to clear your mind - here is Hunter giving Solomon a ride around the yard. Both boys were delighted!
QUESTION FOR YOU! Do you know of a good mouse deterrent to use inside? I read they don't like peppermint but that doesn't stop the mice around here. And neither do those plug in mouse-be-gone things that put out the high frequency noise. If you have had success with something - I'd love to hear from you!